HOTELS & TOURISM | Staff Reporter, Hong Kong

Tourist arrivals rally 17.4% to 5.89 million in August

Sustained influx of Mainland visitors drove tourism levels.

The tourism sector in Hong Kong extended its positive momentum as visitor arrivals booked double-digit growth after rising by 17.4% YoY to 5.89 million in August, according to data from the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB). 

Mainland visitors remained the growth engine of the SAR’s tourism sector after arrivals surged 22% to 4.83 million in August, effectively propping up softening visitor arrivals from non-mainland Chinese markets which inched up by a measly 0.3% to 1.07 million.

Also read: Tourism recovery boosts half-year hotel performance

The number of visitors from short-haul markets fell by 2.2% to 693,995 in August owing to a broad-based decline in all Asian markets like Indonesia (-17.9%), South Korea (-6.7%) and Taiwan (-5.7%) with the lone exception of Thailand.

On the other hand, tourism levels from long haul markets rose by 6.4% to 321,140 with significant growth in visitor arrivals from Australia, United Kingdom and the USA.

Visitor arrivals from new markets posted mixed results with the number of tourists from Vietnam, Russia and GCC markets rising in August whilst falling for India.

To maintain the SAR’s strong tourism figures, HKTB chairman Peter Lam earlier announced that he was eyeing a possible collaboration with Guangdong and Macau to promote the Greater Bay Area as a tourist attraction, according to an earlier report by South China Morning Post.

“If the yuan situation and the trade war drag on, the city’s tourism will be affected,” he told SCMP in August. “We hope the new infrastructure – the bridge and high-speed rail services – [will help us] encourage visitors to stay longer in the city and make excursions to neighbouring areas across the border.”

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